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Virgil van Dijk faces fitness test ahead of Chelsea clash

26 September 2018

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will return to Liverpool's starting line-up for the EFL Cup match against Chelsea, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.

This is the eighth League Cup meeting between Liverpool and Chelsea and the first at the third round stage since November 2000, when the Reds won 2-1 at Anfield with goals from Danny Murphy and Robbie Fowler.

Following their appointment of Sarri over the summer as successor to Antonio Conte, Chelsea have have taken 16 points from a possible 18 in the Premier League so far this term - two fewer than leaders Liverpool.

"He trains fantastic and he deserves this game. They're playing a good style, with forward players who are exceptional, and because of that I think they're a real threat".

The more important clash is the Premier League head-to-head on Saturday, so it would appear that this would be the flawless time for numerous first-choice players to be rested. We want to try to win all our games and we will take it seriously.

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Neither side will want to lose but I just think the depth of Liverpool this season will be what sees them through to victory at Anfield.

Klopp said Chelsea are realistic title contenders and is surprised they are not being tipped more widely. "I didn't speak to him [yet] today so we will see how he comes here today and then we'll make a decision about him". He can come in, provide one of the midfielders with a break until the weekend, and also provide Klopp with the skill the team needs to go through to the 4th round.

Yet, with such a massive chasm between the Premier League's top six and the rest of the Premier League, teams should be looking to win silverware by focusing more attention on the Carabao Cup.

Hazard has scored five times in six appearances this season. As you play, you get more experiences, at a high level for a long time, you get better and learn how to use your abilities in a more efficient way. "I don't get the likes of Newcastle at Forest, nearly handing the tie to Forest because they didn't want to be in it. Teams that are going to be solid in the Premier League should be going for that".

"What a manager he is, I'm a supporter of him since I saw them playing in Naples, outstanding football", he said.

Virgil van Dijk faces fitness test ahead of Chelsea clash